Thursday, November 4, 2010

Shiga Daigaku

Otsu Campus

(Faculty of Education, and Graduate School of Education)
otu_photo 1.Main Office Building (administration, Health and Medical Service Center(Branch), Research Center for Lifelong Learning, Center for Educational Research and Practice, Library(Branch))
2.Humanities, Social Sciences & Education Building, Natural Science Building, Classroom Building, Student Center, The Center for Information Processing(Branch)
3. Art & Technology Building
5.Gymnasium, Martial Arts Hall & Swimming pool
6.Research Center for Sustainability and Environment
7.Natural Environmental Education Laboratory
8.Guest House "Seiryu So"
9.Lecture Hall
10.Student Building
11.Music Building
12.Animal Experiment Lab
13.Student Club Building
14.Lake Biwa Observatory,Setagawa

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Traditional month names

The name of month: (pronunciation, literal meaning)
January - 睦月 (mu tsuki)
February - 如月 or 衣更着 (kisaragi)
March - 弥生 (yayoi)
April - 卯月 (uzuki)
May - 皐月 or 早月 or 五月(satsuki)
June - 水無月 (mina tsuki or mina zuki, no water month)
July - 文月 (fumi zuki, book month)
August - 葉月 (ha zuki, leaf month)
September - 長月 (naga tsuki, long month)
October - 神無月 (kan'na zuki or kamina zuki, no god month), 神有月 (kamiari zuki, god month) only in Izumo province
November - 霜月 (shimo tsuki, frost month)
December - 師走 (shiwasu, teachers run; it is named so because even teachers are busy at the end of a year.)

Rokuyō (days of the week)

The rokuyō (六曜) are a series of six days that predict whether there will be good or bad fortune during that day. The rokuyō are still commonly found on Japanese calendars today, and are often used to plan weddings and funerals. The rokuyō are also known as the rokki (六輝). In order, they are:
先勝 (senshō) - Good luck before noon, bad luck after noon
友引 (tomobiki) - Bad things will happen to your friends. Funerals avoided on this day.
先負 (senbu) - Bad luck before noon, good luck after noon
仏滅 (butsumetsu) - Most unlucky day. Weddings best avoided.
大安 (taian) - Most lucky day. Good day for weddings.
赤口 (shakkō) - The hour of the horse (11 am - 1 pm) is lucky. The rest is bad luck.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Japanese Events in January

Japanese Events in January

"Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu (Happy New Year!)" In Japan the New Year begins with this greeting (Unlike English it can't be used before the New Year). The Japanese word for January is "ichi-gatsu (一月)" which literally means "the first month." In the old days it was called "mutsuki (睦月)." Click here to learn the old names of the months.

In Japan "shogatsu (New Year's holidays)" is a time when everybody takes a few days off to celebrate the arrival of the new year. It is often called "oshogatsu" with the prefix "o" to make it sound polite. Many people who are away from home, return to spend time with their family. Just like Christmas in West, the Japanese are looking forward to "oshogatsu." Here is the song titled "Oshogatsu."

Mou ikutsu neru to oshogatsu
Oshogatsu ni wa tako agete
Koma o mawashite asobimashou
Hayaku koi koi oshogatsu


Here are some events held in January.

1st Ganjitsu
元日 New Year's Day

2nd Kakizome
書初め First calligraphy of
the New Year

7th Nanakusa
七草 The seven herbs of spring

11th Kagami-biraki
鏡開き The cutting of the New Year's rice cake
Second Monday

(11th in 2010) Seijin no hi
成人の日 Coming-of-Age-Day
(National Holiday)

"Kakizome (書初め)" is the first calligraphy of the New Year. The subjects tend to be auspicious words or phrases. "Kakizome competitions (書初め大会)" are annual events at elementary and junior high schools.

"Nanakusa (七草)" literally means "seven herbs." It is customary to eat nanakusa-gayu (seven herb rice porridge) on January 7th. It is said that these herbs will prevent all kind of illnesses. Also, people tend to eat and drink too much on New Year's Day, therefore it is a ideal light and healthy meal with a lot of vitamins. Click here to learn more about "nanakusa."

The Seven Herbs of SpringOn January 7 families throughout Japan prepare kayu cooked with seven different vegetables, or haru no nanakusa (the seven herbs of spring). Kayu is a porridge made by cooking rice with twice the usual amount of water.

Kayu cooked with the seven herbs.

This practice came to Japan from China, where there was a custom of eating freshly harvested herbs early in the new year, but it's also been around in Japan for a long time, since there is a mention of it in Makura no soshi (The Pillow Book), written about a thousand years ago by a lady-in-waiting of the Japanese Empress. The seven herbs vary from region to region and also from era to era, but today they commonly consist of the leaves of dropwort, shepherd's purse, cottonweed, chickweed, henbit, turnip, and radish.

Eating these greens in the New Year was thought to replenish the body with energy from nature and to promote good health and longevity. It's a time-honored custom that's also very practical, since the herbs are a good remedy for indigestion from having had too much mochi (rice cakes) and other New Year's delicacies over the holidays.

"Kagami-mochi (鏡餅)" is a set of two round, flat rice cakes (one large, one small) stacked on a stand. It is displayed in the alcove and offered to the Shinto and Buddhist deities at the New Year. "Kagami-mochi" is taken down on "Kagami-biraki(鏡開き)" Day and eaten. Since it is taboo to cut it with a knife, it is cracked by hand or with a hammer.

"Seijin no hi (成人の日)" is a national holiday which honors young people who have turned, or who will turn, the age of 20 during the current year. At the age of 20, youths are officially recognized as adults and gain the right to vote as well as to drink and smoke. Most women wear traditional kimono to the ceremonies.